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| | |-+  DCC Systems and Turnouts vs DC/AC Standard Turnouts
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Author Topic: DCC Systems and Turnouts vs DC/AC Standard Turnouts  (Read 6320 times)
Mindless64

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« on: December 14, 2010, 04:29:42 AM »

To those that answer thanking you in advance!
I am designing an HO system where all the vehicles I have purchased to date are DCC ready.  I was looking at getting the Bchmann Wireless System or the Direct Connect system to control the trains.  A nice forum person explained the DCC should not be used for DC trains due to possible burnout and many lac AC for accessories and will need a other power source!

Here it is I see they have DCC turnouts, what are the advantages and dis advantages of buying those switches over the standard remote switch.  What will I get, consulted a website but it was still to difficult for a novice.  If I buy DCC decoder switches will I have to run wire at all?

I will likely run 2 trains simul at once on this table, a trolley on sep line and a Lionel O scale on a 2nd level circling the lower HO, ON30 scale train.   I know a DC train and AC train should not be ran on a DCC system but can a DCC train be ran on a DC powered system?  If I have standard remote switches do I have to run wiring and stuff to the DCC system or to the sep power source I purchased.
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jward


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« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2010, 09:00:27 AM »

i am kinda curious as to how you are going to run the lionel set. if it has a seperate power supply (being ac) then is there a possibility you ould tap into that to power your switches? most accessory terminals on dc power packs are 12-16 volts ac......

i personally don't like dcc switches. they are expensive, they have to be wired into your track power. and, if you have alot of them it can be a pain trying to remember the address of the ones you want to throw. unless i was building a fully automated system i don't see an advantage over the regular ones.

wiring the regular switch motors isn't hard, and if you use the slide switch/pushbutton that comes with the ez track switches a quick glance at the position of the slide switch will tell you which way they are thrown even if the switch itself is out of your view.....

the above is, of course, my personal opinion......

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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
jake_iv

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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2010, 06:30:34 PM »

I am an old timer in the hobby so I am prejudiced.  I like the Dynamis wireless control for trains and the good old manual switch throwing!  Growing up on steam train lines in the 40's and 50's, hand throwing switches was the rule.  Also, with the walk around EZ Command or Dynamis control you ca be right where you want to do your switching and keep an eye on your trains - besides ---- that way you get to do more than watch!
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vidguy069
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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2010, 06:39:44 PM »

I've used both DC/AC and DCC switches/turnouts and I use EZ track.  All locos are DDC installed.  I have never had to wire any turnout.  I use the Prodigy Advanced2 as my power source.  It handles all my turnouts. The advantage to DCC is no wiring needed (assuming you have a similar setup.  Using EZ track and a DCC compliant controller.)
Disadvantage, price.  The DCC turnouts/switches are, in my opinion, slightly higher.  Fore the price to aggravation ratio (wiring, remembering what slide/button controls which switch) is more than worth it.

True for powered and/or lighted accessories, you'll need a separate AC power supply.


Hope this was at least a little useful.



vidguy069
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Mindless64

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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2010, 07:10:40 PM »

Hello Again; I did some more reading on this last night and what yo say about DCC turn/Switches does make sense I got the impression they are not wired like a normal switch for DC/SC current would be.  I just bought the -Z CommandŽ Digital Command Control System (Non Wireless) since I know nothing about this stuff I am assuming if I have DCC turnouts that I can program this with the buttons on the side of the controller to flick the switch when I need it.  The old timer made sense about having witches on their own box or manual but my guy is only 8 that I am trying to do this for and would find reaching across a 5x10 table a bit problematic plus with multiple trains as a possibility I think it could spell a disaster.  Vid69 mentioned using both can I mix both on the track, so far I have only 3 standard and 1 dcc switch just purchased, I will try to just purchase only the DCC to finish my plan design moving forward.  Should I not open the others and resell them or see if they will cancel the order on those?  Or can I mix for now and replace slowly?  Should I just buy the wireless system?  P.S. Lionel will run on its own system on a second level graduating down around the ON30 level and the trolley will be on its own power source and track system.
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Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2010, 10:11:03 PM »

If you can stand yet another opinion, may I say that I am a big fan of wireless control and manual throw turnouts.  I feel that following my train around puts me right in the action as opposed to a fixed observer just watching the world go by.  But I too have turnouts that I cannot possible reach and so have compromised.  The turnouts that I can reach are manual; those that I cannot reach are electrically controlled.  My electrically controlled turnouts are virtually all wired, mostly because they were installed before DCC controlled turnouts became available.  But to me, the choice of wired or DCC for inaccessible turnouts is a matter of convenience versus price.  Personally, I do not find stringing a few wires to be particularly troublesome, and once installed, wired turnouts generally stay trouble free for years (some of mine have not been touched for over a quarter of a century.)

I long ago solved the problem of figuring out which one of a group of wired turnout controls operates which switch by ungrouping all the controls.  Instead of having all the wired controls at a centralized location (which kind of defeats the purpose of wireless throttles) I mount individual controls on the front edges of the tables so that they line up with the corresponding turnouts at the backs of the tables.  This allows quick, visual association between controls and what they control.  I like to get together with friends to operate trains and this arrangement has made it easy for them to figure out how to operate my railroad without having to memorize lists of numbers versus turnout locations.  And many of them have followed suit, going to wireless throttles and repositioning their turnout controls for easy association. 

In the case of DCC controlled turnouts, I would suggest that number tags on signal masts near the turnouts would be a good working solution.  The tags would be numbered with the DCC addresses of the turnouts.  The signals would not have to work, and in fact, the numbers could be on short posts and still serve their purpose.

There is one more question about using the E-Z Command or the Dynamis that needs to be answered and that is the numbers of DCC controlled turnouts each can control.  This is not likely a problem at this point, but be warned - model railroads tend to grow.  My present H0 layout started out with 4 turnouts on a 4' x 10' sheet of plywood but has slowly grown to occupy two rooms totaling about 370 square feet and using about 56 turnouts showing and another 10 or so in hidden yards.  I never foresaw anything this size when I started out.  If I were building it all today, the difference in price between DCC and wired turnouts would be substantial.  And not every DCC system would be able to address that many.  I don't know the numbers for E-Z Command and for the Dynamis but I hope someone who does will chime in.

Jim
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Growing older is mandatory but growing up is optional.
tscdata

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« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2010, 01:05:41 PM »

I agree with Jim.  I use DCC to run the locomotives, but I wire the turnouts (switch) the old fanshin way and place the buttons (switches) near the turnout location.  In cases where practical I use manual throws.

John
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Old Crows

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« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2010, 06:49:30 PM »

Some help please.  I'd like to run my Bachmann EZtrack beginner layout using DCC.  I have a Prodigy Express DCC controller.  I'd like to wire the turnouts 'conventionally' ... i.e., using a button or switch to control them to keep my first layout simple!!! 

The B'mann turnouts (4) have connectors and are supplied with wire for rigging them up.  But.....

How in the hell do you wire this up?  Do I need a separate transformer for the turn outs?   

I've found nothing on the web to say how to do this.   

Thanks in advance!!! 
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richg
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« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2010, 08:11:26 PM »

Some help please.  I'd like to run my Bachmann EZtrack beginner layout using DCC.  I have a Prodigy Express DCC controller.  I'd like to wire the turnouts 'conventionally' ... i.e., using a button or switch to control them to keep my first layout simple!!! 

The B'mann turnouts (4) have connectors and are supplied with wire for rigging them up.  But.....

How in the hell do you wire this up?  Do I need a separate transformer for the turn outs?   

I've found nothing on the web to say how to do this.   

Thanks in advance!!! 

You might try starting a new thread for your issue. Might be easier to track.

Rich
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Kris Everett


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« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2010, 08:11:39 PM »

green wore comes from switch goes to the 3 prongs on the controller that came with it the red wire goes to your power source like a DC controller with Accessory terminals or a wal-wart 12- 16 volts and the controllers that came with the switches can be connected together so u only need on power feed. if u need ne more help let us know
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Old Crows

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« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2010, 11:23:52 AM »

Thanks everyone!!!  This really helps.  Going to the hobby store today to buy a small transformer.   

 Cheesy
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Joe323

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« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2010, 11:56:45 AM »

I feel like chiming in on this one.  It took me several attempts to get the EZ command remote turnouts to properly function and  it left me with a tangled mess I'm slowly turning into a control panel.

As an alternative I am also getting the walk around thottle for the EZ command and with the exception of 2 turnouts  I can throw them all manually Those turnouts can be thrown with a long stick if I chose as well.
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